Thursday, 26 February 2015

The magic bridge

Jane dropped the apple over the side of the bridge.  John stood on his tiptoes and craned his neck to watch it fall.  Plop! It dropped into the water and then bobbed to the surface.  The current started to sweep it under the bridge, and they both ran to the other side to watch it reappear.  It did so swiftly, bouncing along on the wavelets... then it stopped... and reversed its path, passing back under the bridge, seemingly against the current.  The children ran to the first side of the bridge again to see it reappear, make a wide circle, three twirls and then resume its way with the flow, to disppear down the river.
"What do you think that was about?" Jane asked.  "I can't even see any whirlpools or anything."
"It was a fish," John replied confidently.  "It grabbed the apple and dragged it back."
"No it wasn't," insisted Jane.  "We would have seen it."
"Magic?" asked John, with some uncertainty.
"That is not a scientific answer," Jane chided her brother, with a smile to take the sting out.
"It might be," John replied.  "After all, if there is something going on here we don't understand, it may as well be magic, right?"
Jane thought about this for a moment, then grinned.
"You're right.  From now on, this is the magic bridge."
They both laughed and ran away to find a new game to play.
Meanwhile, under the bridge the troll was grumbling.
"Another apple drops from the sky, and my fishing line breaks again!"

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

The Clockwork Key

"The key is an elaborate work indeed.  I don't know what craftsman made it, but the detail is exquisite.  See here, how the teeth are locked into position by this mechanism?  And here, where this miniature timepiece moves these cogs?   Why, as the seasons change this key, too, will change.  What door does it open?  Well that depends entirely upon the date, I suppose.  Does it only open one door on a given day, or many different doors at different times?  I cannot say, and alas, neither can the previous owner."

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

The Traveller

Flash fiction dice #2!

The traveller awoke just as the moon was rising in a thin silvery crescent.  He doused the embers of his fire, collected together his pots and pans, rolled up his bedroll and neatly tied them all to his humongous pack.  He checked his map - the path led through the forest.  He knew that the moon would not be enough to light the way through the thick trees, but he couldn't wait any longer - he had to reach the city.  He unstrapped a pole from his pack - there was a long wire attached to the end.  He screwed a lightbulb onto the wire and then gave it a flick.  The lightbulb flickered on.  He hefted his pack, and with the lightbulb swinging before him, set off into the forest with a jaunty step and a bright song.

Monday, 23 February 2015

The Shadow

A while ago I got some Story Cubes.  They're a lovely little game which you can play with others or by yourself - you roll the dice, and then make up a story using the pictures that you rolled.  You don't have to use the pictures literally  - as long as all of them are present in some way, it counts.  So as a little challenge, I'm going to roll some of them each morning and write a little flash fiction based on what comes up.  I'm not going to spend ages refining every word - this is flash fiction in it's raw form - just see what's inspired and go!  Here's the first roll:

The Shadow had heard that Shadows lived in darkness, but he was beginning to suspect that wasn't true at all.  He was sitting under the lone lamppost at the forest gate.  The trees were creaking gently in the wind, foxes were rustling in the undergrowth, and an owl swooped overhead, but he didn't see another shadow.  No, he didn't think that shadows were supposed to live in the darkness at all; it was lonely in the dark.  All night he sat waiting and he began to feel down.  Finally a line of pink appeared on the horizon, across the visitor centre carpark.  The sun rose, it's honey light creeping slowly towards him.  First it touched the fields in the distance... then it edged across the tarmac of the carpark... finally it made it's way up the walls of the visitor centre, and to his lamppost.
"Good morning!" a voice cheerfully greeted him.
He turned around to see another shadow, sitting under the walker's route post.  It was smiling at him.
"Good morning," he replied in surprise and delight.  "Have you been here all night?  I thought I was alone."
The other shadow chuckled.
"Of course not!" it smiled.  "Shadows live in the sunlight - everyone knows that!"

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

What a difference a mail makes!

I've been sending out my book submission to agents this week, and was really surprised to get an e-mail back already from Kate McKean at the Howard Morhaim Literary Agency.
It was a no - she didn't feel the book was right for her, and that's fine.

The thing was, I was actually glad to get that mail. Sure I would have loved a "yes, I'd like to see more", but I hugely appreciate the fact that she actually took the time just to send those couple of lines.

So remember folks, if you're ever in the position where you get to decide on something - be it a job application, book submission or business proposal, take those few moments to hit reply and let the person at the other end know what the outcome is. Even if it's a no - you'll let them know that they're not just shouting into the void, and that can make a whole difference to their week - and to their next try.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Official Selection!

You may recall me talking about a short film that I wrote and filmed last year, which was entered into the Nikon European Film Festival.
I am thrilled to announce that it made the shortlist!
I got a lovely e-mail saying I could use this picture too. :)

You can watch Half Full here.

Whether we get any further or not, I am proud of what we have achieved with so few resources and such a small team of people!  (There were only three of us making it!)
I loved writing the script and since it was made I have been co-writing a feature length movie script alongside my novel writing. (Before anyone asks, the feature isn't based on Half Full.  I'm not really sure a conversation about a glass would stretch to more than 40 minutes!)  No matter which way the film goes from here, we'll be sure to keep making movies and you never know, one day perhaps you'll see one of ours at the cinema! ;)

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Christmas Pressies for Writers

Yes, I know it's already the 9th December, and you're probably so organised you have all of your shopping done already...
...or you could be like the rest of us who are thinking "I really need to get the present shopping started!" and frantically scratching your head at what to get everyone.

Well, I am here to help!  For the writers in your family at least.  (For everyone else go for socks.  Everyone loves socks.  Well... I love socks.)

So without further ado, here's your list of great gift ideas for the writer in your life!